Although some smaller types of ticks are referred to as seed ticks, the term generally refers to the stage in a tick's development before it becomes an adult. A tick has a number of development stages: egg, larva, nymph, and adult. Those in the nymph stage can also be referred to as seed ticks, since many people say that these tiny arachnids often resemble seeds. In this form, they are very small, often the size of a pinhead or smaller.
The danger in ticks in this stage usually lies in their numbers. Where there is one there are usually hundreds, if not thousands of others. Because seed ticks tend to congregate in the same area, they tend to find the same hosts, so someone who notices one nymph may find many others.
Though all ticks can carry disease, seed ticks, because they are somewhat younger, may not carry quite as many harmful viruses. This should not be misinterpreted as a reason to not take them seriously, however. All ticks have the ability to carry disease such as Lyme disease and rocky mountain fever.
Most of these immature ticks do not have the ability to tightly cling onto a host, so removing them is often easier than with adult ticks. In some cases, it can simply be done by placing packaging tape over the affected area and lifting it off, as the ticks usually stick to the tape. For animals, using a medication designed to kill ticks usually works very well.
Pet owners who find that they have a pet affected by seed ticks should treat both the animal and the entire house, or at least areas where the pet has access, with some type of insecticide. These young ticks are numerous and may not always stay on a host, so they can easily wander around a home in areas where a pet has been. Without treatment, it is possible a homeowner will find himself continually having a problem with the small bugs.
As with any bug bite, the bite of seed ticks should be closely monitored for any infections. Ticks may cause red itchy bumps on the skin where they bite. If these do not go away after few days, or if the person bitten develops an illness shortly thereafter, he should seek medical treatment.